Last night I had a bottle of (take a deep breath) Kyle Hollingsworth / Keri Kelli / Stone Collective Distortion IPA. This is a limited edition Double/Imperial IPA coming in at 9.2% ABV. Stone calls it a collaboration of the brewery with the keyboardist of The String Cheese Incident and the guitarist for Alice Cooper. It may not be quite as radical as that sounds, but it pulls no punches. It pours a pretty amber with a moderate head tending toward foam, this is a well-carbonated beer. The bottle mentions that it is made with elderberry and coriander. Well, I got the coriander right away in the nose, but didn’t get the berry. I did get a ton of hops. It’s a nice sipping beer, and <burp> THERE are the berries! Score one for the carbonation! All of a sudden the berry was obvious, and very pleasant. As the beer came up from refrigerator temperature, the berries and spice became more and more apparent, tending almost toward a cassis note. I consider myself duly chastised for drinking my beer too cold. Good stuff.
However, I do have a complaint for the good folks at Stone. Could you edit your copy and use a larger font? This gnat’s ass font is too much for eyes old enough to drink!
Tonight I’m meeting Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing. This is a purist’s Imperial IPA, no spice or berries, just barley, hops, yeast, and water. It’s a bit scary to think of water coming from Cleveland, but it’s a long time since the Cuyahoga caught fire. Somehow I think they have an excellent source. Solid hops, solid flavor, an earthy caramel with hops that go on and on. I think I’ll have another!